Portugal and Spain

Does anyone have suggestions for a 3 - 4 week in Portugal and Spain? We are thinking we'd spend a week in the Algarve area of Portugal toward the end of our trip. Any suggestions are welcomed as we are in the preliminary planning stage right now. Thanks.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

Do you have a copy of RS Guide Books for Spain and Portugal yet? If so, great. If not you should get both of them to help you in your planning.
We found them extremely helpful when we planned out trip thru those two countries. Another thought is to go the RS Tours and check out two of the tours to those countries: Spain in 14d & Portugal in 12d to see where he takes his folks. Good luck and if it were not for finding TAPAS bars we would have had a real bad time waiting for restaurants to open at 8 or 9 PM.

Posted by Linda
Tallahassee, Florida, USA
12 posts

Thank you for your responses.
Please keep any suggestions on our itinerary coming. Must see towns/ cities in southern Spain?

Posted by Linda
Tallahassee, Florida, USA
12 posts

Thank you for your response. Yes, I have the Portugal book and have ordered the Spain book. Did you rent a car or take trains/buses? Thanks for the tip on the tapas bars and late eating!

Posted by Jim
Dallas, Texas, USA
495 posts

We like to do as Charlie says, see where Rick Steves takes his tour folks and follow his successful ways. Has worked out nicely for many trips. Porto is worth a visit.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

Even with the late dinner hour, there is rarely a problem finding a place to eat at almost any hour. If nothing else, there are grocery stores, takeout places, and restaurants like McDonald's and Pizza Hut.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2393 posts

Whether to train or car or bus depends on where you will be going. Train service is generally not as comprehensive there as the rest of Europe. THe high-speed AVE train is great for the cities it serves. But busses do connect smaller towns and cities very effectively. For certain trips, it can make more sense to fly. Once you have a better sense of where you want to go, we can help answer more specific questions.

Posted by Jerry&Stelly
Dallas, TX, usa
163 posts

Hi Linda We are planning a 7 week trip to Portugal and Spain and this is how we planned our trip: This is all by train and bus. Fly into Lisbon, spend a week in and around Lisbon according to Rick Steve's recommendations. Three nights in Tavira. Four nights in Seville. Three nights in Ronda. Four nights in Nerja. Three nights in Granada. Three nights in Cordoba. Three nights in Toledo. Nine nights in Madrid, our two grand daughters meet us on the 5th day. Ten nights in Barcelona with our grand daughters.
We have never been to Spain so we have no idea how it will work out, but we trust Rick. But if you are leaving after July 2nd we will send you a post and let you know cause that is when we return.

Posted by Kia
Toronto, ON, Canada
112 posts

I've been to both in the last several years, and I would recommend you spend at least half your time, if not more in Portugal. It's often overlooked, but I enjoyed my time there far, far more than my time in Spain. Madrid was great and there's wonderful train access to some good day or 2-day side trips (Cordoba, Toledo, Segovia). In addition to the Algarve in Portugal, I'd recommend you spend at least 2-3 days in Lisbon as well (and maybe take side trips to Sintra or Evora). In my opinion, you could easily spend 2-3 weeks in Portugal and still wish for more time there.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

The Algarve area of Portugal is their version of Florida, and I understand it's really nice. It's very popular with English tourists trying to find better weather. Faro, Portugal is the airport that services this area. My niece lives in London and owns an ocean front condo in the Algarve that is available for rent for a great price. PM me if you're interested. She has it listed on an internet website with pictures.

Posted by Teresa
Victoria, BC, Canada
101 posts

Where are you planning on flying into, Spain or Portugal? We did 5 weeks Spain and Portugal in 2011 and just Spain last year, we felt that we needed more time in Barcelona than the original trip where we just spent 3 nights. We 'roughly' based our trip on RS Spain and Portugal in 22 Days .. We used it as a starting point.. Changed and tweaked it a lot given our extra time and we skipped Gib and North Africa. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/spain/itin_spainport.htm I felt that we could have had an extra night in Segovia and Salamanca and one less in Coimbra. He didn't go to Tomar or Obidos 2 places that we are very glad we went to. We too spent time in Tavira, my brother moved there 6+ years ago and we had never been. Time in the Pueblo Blanco's, Seville, Granada were wonderful as was Lisbon and Belem..
Unless you are interested in a beach vacation you could cut your time down there.